Sometimes reading newspaper can give you lots more healthy and applicable information apart from the current scenarios happening around the globe. One such piece of information I read was about gardening. It was very helpful about the ways to take care of plants in summers. With the scorching heat increasing day by day, it’s an obvious observation that it is very difficult for our plants to survive. And thus in these tough situations and conditions, many wither, turn yellow and rot easily.

While some people are naturals at gardening, others are not. And plants can be really confusing at times, given so many different kinds of soil or fertilizers. I am just remembering the tagline of Bourvita where Kajol says, “Thodi mehnat to aapko bhi karni padegi”. Thus, taking this mantra, let’s put in some efforts from our side to make our plants survive this tough weather and flourish with green color. We need to follow some careful steps for the betterment of the trees and plants in our garden. Just remember that you can't turn the sun off. And it's not just humans who suffer in the heat of summer, plants too need proper hydration and care. So with some precautions, the sea son can be really good for your plants. So, before the plants and shrubs you tended to all winter wither in the scorching heat, here are a few tips to keep your greens healthy and blooming this summer.

Firstly, for this is the time to replace your Petunia, Cineraria, Calendula, Chrysanthemum, Marigold and Dahlia with Periwinkle, Zinnia, Portulaca, Gomphrena, Calliopsis, Lily etc and enjoy a prolonged display. Container gardens could also be a solution for those staying in rented apartments. Vegetables like cucumber, bitter gourd, pumpkin, chillies or even watermelon can be easily planted in pots and grown slowly through summer.

POT POLICY

Now that the temperature is gradually soaring, it's the right time for a soil check. It’s an intelligent practice to keep the potted plants in a cluster. That way, they will face sun from one side only. The idea is that the plant soil should get more nutrients in summer to sustain high growth and extra energy that is required after the dormant winter. Apply manures like cow dung, bone dust, vermicompost, hoofs and horns and oil cakes once in two to four weeks. Actually, the morning sun is best for potted flowers and vegetables.

PLANT CARE

Sometimes, plants attract pests. Apply pesticides but preferably natural ones. Although indoor plants do not require direct sunlight, but make sure they get at least bright natural light. Please, don’t forget to sprinkle water twice a day for terrace plants. In case of potted plants, allow excess water to run out from the bottom of the pot into a saucer placed below. Allow it to be a common practice that plants should be pruned occasionally to remove damaged parts and to help fresh growth. Make it a point that plants should never be permitted to wither. You can also cover the top layer of the soil with mulch (decaying leaves, bark or compost, spread around or over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil), containing wooden pieces, twigs, dead plant leaves etc. It will not only provide extra fertilizer for the soil, but will also help retain moisture. Small pebbles may also be used to cover the soil from losing moisture. Sometimes, to make the leaves shine, wipe it with a soft, damp cloth.

FERTILIZERS

While planting a sapling or shifting it to a bigger pot, you can either use manure or water-soluble feed each week to 10 days all throughout summer. If you don't add nutrients to the soil at regular intervals, plants in containers, pots and hanging baskets will suffer. Fertilizers are now available in various forms like powder, pellets sticks and liquids. Pellets sticks are the easiest to use. Liquids dissolved in water are best for house plants as they are evenly distributed throughout the potting medium to all roots.

SUMMER BLOSSOMS

Summer adds colour and beauty to a garden because it is time for blossoms. It also means more heat and high humidity. Therefore, germination of the seeds becomes faster in the humid and warm soil. Bright indirect light usually is sufficient to encourage good flowering.

Therefore, it is good time to plant some flowering saplings like Periwinkle, Zinnia, Portulaca, Gomphrena, Calliopsis, Amaryllis lily et al.

Summers are a hard time for humans as well as plants. So let’s make the best out of whatever situations are in front of us. Keeping yourself hydrated and by following these simple steps and making use of the information available, we all can efficiently cross this summer. Make the image of a flourishing garden with all greenery around as your motivation to move ahead with more valor and vigor each day.